Kuruman, 18/3/97.


Patrol to Gamapedi.

Sir,—I have the honour to report that, in accordance with instructions received, I left Masipa on 13th inst., where the column under your command had halted, and proceeded to Kuruman for the purpose of making a patrol to Gamapedi, where the natives had risen and stolen cattle, &c., from loyal natives. I arrived at Kuruman at midday, and gave orders at once that 165 of the Vryburg and Geluk Volunteers, who were encamped at the Magistracy, should be ready to proceed on patrol at sundown, with me. I left Kuruman at 6.30 p.m. with 110 Vryburg Volunteers under Captain Wessels, and 50 Geluk men under Captain Meintjes. We marched through the night, under the guidance of two loyal natives and a couple of special police (Payne and De Biss), and halted about 1.30 a.m. on 14th, about 1.5 miles from the Gamapedi village. We had travelled mostly through the veld as I was anxious to avoid the hills along the Kuruman River and also to keep out of the bush. At dawn we saddled up, and before sunrise attacked Gamapedi. The village was situated on the north bank and quite close to the Kuruman River, on a gentle slope and about two hundred yards from the bush through which we had come. On the opposite side of the river the Kuruman hills rise suddenly, but in places are not very steep and are accessible to mounted men. There appeared to be but few natives in the village, and they at once fled up into the hills where most of the men were, the women, children and cattle having apparently been previously removed. I divided the force at my command, so as to cut the natives off from getting to the back of the hills and eventually killed somewhat over 30 of them. I could not estimate the exact number as the country was so rough and the engagement covered so much ground. The Chief Mongoli and his brother M’toni were reported amongst the dead. Fourteen horses, a few goats and a wagon and Scotch cart were taken as loot, and the four villages occupied by Mongoli’s people were burnt.

On our side the casualties were :

Trooper V. Fletcher, Vryburg Volunteers, killed; Trooper Carsons, Geluk Volunteers, severely wounded in leg; Corporal Behr, Vryburg Volunteers, slightly wounded on hand; Basuto Native Schulk, severely wounded in head. One horse killed and one wounded.

As soon as possible after the engagement was over and the wounded attended to by Surgeon Captain Roscoe, who had accompanied the Patrol, I left for Kuruman with the Geluk Volunteers, leaving Captain Wessels to bring on the wounded. The distance from Kuruman to Gamapedi is, by road, 24 miles, and about 32 miles by the route we took on the night of 13th.

(Sgd) J. W. FULLER, Inspector C. P. II.

To Colonel E. H. Dalgety,

Comdg. B.F.F., Kuruman.


The Secretary for Defence.

Forwarded for your information. The O.C. considers that the patrol was a very satisfactory one, all engaged having behaved well.

(Sigd.) F. JOHNSON, Captain, S.O.

Kuruman Camp, 18th March.